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* Posts by Robert Heffernan

326 posts • joined 2 Jul 2007

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KRAKKOOOM! Space Station supply mission in PODULE PRANG EXPLOSION CHAOS

Robert Heffernan
Joke

Relevant YouTube Clip

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWtohHwNXoU

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Icahn and I DID: eBay volte-faces, spins PayPal into separate biz

Robert Heffernan

Bought for a mere $1.5B

But what a legacy that "mere" sum has produced for humanity. Shaking up two of the most incumbent industries in the world. Producing realitsically affordable commercial space travel and Electric cars with good range and performance.

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Robert Heffernan

Re: Daft Government

I have had a test motor over pressurize and blow the nozzle out the end. Very loud. While I do agree in the wrong hands you could do some damage, it doesn't warrant the restrictions placed on it.

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Robert Heffernan
Flame

Daft Government

Governments worldwide are daft with regulation. Even in Australia if I wanted to make rcandy propellant (Potassium nitrate + Sugar) I too would need a commercial licence to manufacture explosives, which is odd given that mix just burns vigorously and doesn't actually explode.

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Oracle: That BUG in our In-Memory Option will be fixed in October

Robert Heffernan
Trollface

SQL Injection For Fun and (Oracle's) Profit

I can just imagine a carefully crafted SQL injection query to invoke the INMEMORY feature, and costing the company a shed-load of money.

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Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU

Robert Heffernan

Re: SSD?

Yes, it still matters quite a lot. While SSDs are faster than spinning rust drives, RAM still blows it away by an order of magnitude at least.

These read speed figures for media are rather general

Cheap USB2 Flash Drive: 5mb/sec

7200 RPM SATA HDD: 120mb/sec

SSD: 550mb/sec

DDR3 RAM: 12,500mb/sec

So from that you can see how much faster your database would run with your tabled cached in RAM.

That being said, at $28k per core I don't give two shits how fast my database runs, you shouldn't have to pay that much for what should be a basic feature of any database

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German NSA probe chief mulls spy-busting typewriters

Robert Heffernan

Re: Not foolproof

Definite side channel attack vector here. If the NSA can deduce RSA private keys from the silent squeals of a CPU then they can read documents by the sound of the keystrokes. I can actually remember they have developed this for PC keyboards so adapting this to retro tech would be trivial.

Perhaps the rest of the world should just file an international class action lawsuit against the US/English/Any other Cooperating government on behalf of the rest of the world

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Satya Nadella: Microsoft's new man presses all the old buttons in LONG memo

Robert Heffernan
FAIL

No Thanks

Mobile-First: No thanks, just because my mobile device has a 1920x1080 display and loads of compute power the battery doesnt last long enough to do anything meaningful and the screen size is so small all its good for is browsing, some lite email and maybe a movie whth the headphones in when im bored. If I need to do any actual work its back to my desk with the 24" LCDs and real, usefull input devices.

Cloud-First: Oh Hell No. There is no way I would subscribe to ising the cloud voluntarily. The spooks at the NSA have really put a huge dent in that idea, sure the cloud is a good idea in theory but there are too many issues in practice

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Start packing your bags for a Windows Server 2003 migration

Robert Heffernan
Happy

Re: Microsoft FAIL

I recently migrated several physical hosts away from Server 2008 R2 to Server 2012 R2. It was a very painless experience and the extra features in Hyper-V in relation to replication and disaster recovery made it well worth it.

My colleague and I had three physical servers and all the contained VMs migrated in a couple of hours on the weekend. No in-place upgrade, reformat and reinstall, apply OS updates, install SAN tools, setup iSCSI and reload the VMs. Too easy.

The Touch interface didn't really get in the road the updated server management tools keep you away from that abomination, and with a liberal sprinkling of Start8 it's as if Metro never existed.

Next victim on the chopping block is the SBS2003 domain controller.

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Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

Robert Heffernan
Thumb Down

Float? More like Sink!

For a company like SpaceX, floating on the public exchange would sink the company.

Commercial Rocketry is a long-game, you cannot run that kind of business in a manner compatible with publicly held companies. They require CEO's with drive and vision and the ability to run a business over the long term. Elon Musk has such drive and vision.

SpaceX's bottom like will be looking very good over the long term (much longer terms than wall street investors look at) and unless you are turning over huge sums of cash every quarter then your a bad investment, I can well imagine SpaceX having quarters full of red ink due to the expenditure of capital on valuable R&D which then gets topped up when launch contracts are fulfilled. Because of this red ink, SpaceX will suffer as a public company.

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SKA under budget cloud in the Great Oz Science Brain Drain

Robert Heffernan
Megaphone

Re: Re: Any truth to the rumour?

So when all the federal politicians ARE up in Canberra carrying on with their Bullshit, that makes you guys the front line.

Why aren't you all standing on the lawns of Parliament house with the Placards, Sticks, Stones and Pitchforks, ready to show these idiots who they really work for?

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DreamWorks CEO: Movie downloaders should pay by screen size

Robert Heffernan
Trollface

Re: Dear Mr. Katzenberg

Laser range finder as a required piede of hardware drm in projectors?

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Dutch doctors replace woman's skull with 3D-printed plastic copy

Robert Heffernan
Holmes

The Other Half

I am assuming her bone thickening condition wasn't only taking place inside the top half of her skull. How are they dealing with the thickening in the bottom half that the neck, cheek, node and jaws are attached to?

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Shuttleworth: Firmware is the universal Trojan

Robert Heffernan

Wow

This would have to be the most intelligent thing I have heard Shuttleworth say!

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SpaceX set to try HOVER LANDING for re-usable rockets on March ISS mission

Robert Heffernan

Re: Chasing rainbows

Why waste fuel for nothing?

Sure you need extra fuel that could be used to launch additional mass into orbit, but the reality of launching rockets is... Fuel is Cheap! it's the launch hardware that is not. If you spend a little extra on fuel to save a lot on hardware your ahead.

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Intel, Sun vet births fast, inexpensive 3D chip-stacking breakthrough

Robert Heffernan

Re: Yes but what about supply voltage to each layer..

No, the power supply for each layer is done with conventional wire bonding, which for a few power wires around the edge of the die. The power wires can be done during the placement and bonding of each wafer.

The website has diagrams of how this works, they place the base die, put a layer of glue, align the next die on top, bond the power wires, put a layer of glue which encapsulates the power wires, places the next die, etc.

The upside of this approach is that there are only a few power wires per die (dependent on power consumption) which are bonded using existing low cost reliable technology. You aren't trying to make hundreds or thousands of connections between each layer using a new and extremely precise technology which increases manufacturing costs.

I can see a potential side-channel attack to this though.. what is the possibility of reading the inter-layer pulses externally to the chip?

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Robert Heffernan
Boffin

Re: Wow. NFC *finally* finds an actual use.

By the circuit diagram and signal trace image in the article it looks like there is no protocol involved. The sender is simple it just charges a coil on the high signal and discharges it on a low.

The receiver is a little more complex, when its coil pulses positive in response to the charging of the senders coil it sets a flip flops output to high. When the senders coil discharges the receivers coil pulses negative which is used to reset the flip flop which then outputs a low.

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Dell reveals 'proof-of-concept' ARM microserver

Robert Heffernan
Meh

ARM needs standards

ARM's biggest issue for mass adoption in microservers is the whole "on-a-chip" approach across multiple licensees who all tweak and fudge the hardware, memory maps and even instruction set.

It might be fine for the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon who can buy tens of thousands of units to run their own custom workloads but for the rest of us its a fragmented mess that requires porting of some kind for each vendors chip.

This is where intel shines, sure the instruction set is messy and the chips are power hungry but you know your architecture is solid, the operating systems are well known and stable and the tools are easy to use and stable.

Given time I can really see intel eating ARMs lunch, with the money and bodies they are throwing at atom to get the power and performance down to be competition to ARM, the standard and well known platform will become the deciding factor.

If ARM wants to survive this attack by intel it needs to reign in the licensees and require a 100% compatible architecture so if I compile code for Vendor A's server SoC, it will also run on Vendor D's competing SoC. I am not saying all SoCs have to be clones but the core feature sets have to be compatible, leave the integrated prepheral hardware support upto the OS, but I dont want to have to rebuild my workloads for every little variant.

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Apple's nonexistent iWatch to bag $17.5 BEEELION in first year alone – analyst

Robert Heffernan

Re: Can't wait to not buy this one!

My point being, those people who do wear watches, especially the "Flash and Expensive" ones, want a watch that is precision crafted, engineered by the best watchmakers the world has to offer, they are willing to spend 6 figures on a quality timepiece. They are going to look at a low 3-figure iWatch and wonder what kind of piece of shit that is.

The regular joe has a smartphone, if they have a watch its comfortable and practical, and in a woman's case, its usually dainty too. no matter what, Apple is going to be extremely hard pressed to fit a LiPo, cpu, ram, bluetooth, digitizer, piezio, lcd and charger all into the size of a practical watch.

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Robert Heffernan
Pint

Can't wait to not buy this one!

The last thing I want is a damn watch. I have been given plenty of flash and expensive watches in my life and I havn't worn one of them. It's getting rare to see a guy wearing a watch who's not some kind of suit trying to look important.

I can't possibly see a way to milk a dying market for $1Bil, let alone $12Bil let alone $17.5Bil!

*Go home Tim Cook, You're drunk!

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Eurocops want to build remote car-stopper, shared sensor network

Robert Heffernan

Re: Integration

@MJI

No, never on the UK Motorway. I have driven around Los Angeles though. But being an antipodean the worst I usually have to deal with is Kangaroos jumping out at me in the middle of the night on a Motorcycle, and Melbourne Taxi Drivers.

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Robert Heffernan

Re: Integration

@MachDiamond

Having worked for a manufacturer of Automatic transmissions (I was in charge of machining valve bodies) I have a very good understanding of the control systems in a transmission. It would require a modest change to the mechanics of the valve body to remove the physical linkage from gear lever to the valve that controls what gear mode is selected (Park, Neutral, Reverse, Drive etc), and place it under electronic control.

Power steering is a modern luxury, you are perfectly capable of steering a vehicle without it, in fact high speed on a motorway makes it easier to steer without it. My partner even drives a car without power steering and she has no problem with it around town.

Also, modern brakes are designed to function perfectly without any power assistance. In fact it is part of their legal design requirements that they must still function even if the power assistance features of the braking system are completely disabled.

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Robert Heffernan

Integration

Integrate this with the eCall system so police can call back to all vehicles in range, find the speeder, and disable it that way.

The idea of people getting wiped out by accident is ridiculous in that the system when disabling the vehicle could put the car in neutral, activate the hazard lights, disable the engine and lock the doors. The vehicle would coast to a stop and keep the offender/occupants safe inside the vehicle while other vehicles would give the target space as they should do when a car puts its hazards on and coasts to a stop

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LOHAN develops amazing mind-reading powers

Robert Heffernan

Ardupilot

So what was wrong with the Ardupilot?

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Meet NASA's Valkyrie: A SILKY BUSTY ROBO-MINX that'll save your life

Robert Heffernan

Serious Application

I got the joke ;-) but...

A serious practical application would be additional chest space for additional chest-mounted components, or mounting counter-weights further forward in order to balance the battery pack on it's back.

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Adorable, much-loved SEAHORSES are VICIOUS SLURPING KILLERS

Robert Heffernan
Trollface

3D Volume

I would hope you keep the Seahorse in a 3D Volume of water. Things would get messy fast if you tried to put it into a 2D Plane!

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XBOX ONE owners rage as HDMI SNAFU 'judders' Brit and Euro tellies

Robert Heffernan

New Standards

Chances are the console is upconverting the framerate and making a hash of it. My solution to the issue is this, Screw NTSC, screw PAL, screw 24fps, 30fps, 29.97fps, etc. There is no reason in the modern global age for there to be region specific standards. Standardise on powers of 2 framerates (15, 30, 60, 120fps, etc) where if your display has a 120hz display it just shows each frame of 60hz content twice or 120hz content on a 60hz panel shows every other frame. No stuttering, no jerking, and perfectly fluid playback.

Then standardise on a minimum frame size of 1920x1080. Only progressive content, interlacing is for the weak. If you want a higher frame size for ultra hd, scale it in powers of 2. 1920x1080, 3840x2160, 7680x4320, etc. That way when scaling you can just scale the size of the pixel.

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XtremIO in SSD brickup ballsup: 'We have seen over 150 ... so far'

Robert Heffernan

Too Cheap or Too Hot

Either the SSDs are budget models bought in bulk, relying on the overlying software protection to maintain data integrity, or the enclosures are sweating the SSDs to death.

Either option spells FAIL to me.

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Mixed bag of motors lifts India's budget Mars shot

Robert Heffernan
Trollface

Budget Design

Reading through the rocket technology types for each stage and the staging time lines it sounds like they also saved some money by doing their preliminary design and engineering work in Kerbal Space Program

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Snowden: Oh, PLEASE let me come to Germany and help Merkel with her phone

Robert Heffernan

Re: He'd be a fool to go and Germany would be a fool to ask

@AC-Nutter

If ZPE, Anti-Grav and FTL drives existed it doesn't matter how big your corporation is and how oil dependant it is you couldn't keep a lid on those kind of discoveries. The day an oil company gets ZPE is the day it becomes a power company, they could provide power for the entire planet for cents per megawatt and and it's 100% pure profit, they would become the richest company on the planet.

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Hate data fees but love your HD slab? Here's a better way to pay for bytes

Robert Heffernan

Advertising Too

This is also an issue I have with Advertising on the Internet. Why do I have to pay to view an advertisment? Ads of any kind take data to download and last time I checked, a meg of mobile data came with a complementary ass raping from the mobile provider in relation to the price. If advertisers paid for that bandwidth I would have no issue viewing the ads. Until then I will continue blocking the ads on my mobile

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Telstra plans to keep hands on government BEEELIONS

Robert Heffernan
Mushroom

Mandatory FTTP Needed!

The issue is being seen from the perspective of cost and not so much for what, ultimately, is better for the country as a whole.

The NBN is one of the largest national infrastructure projects ever undertaken, and is absolutely needed going forward because of one major issue. "Maximizing Shareholder Value".

Telstra own the overwhelming bulk of the cabling connecting households to the communications network, and this puts them in a position of being able to rape the customers wallet each month and return almost nothing to the community (The community are not shareholders, therefore: fuck you community) in the way of jobs (moving overseas) or maintenance to the network (Sorry sir, even though I heard noise in your line, I can't locate the fault with my testing equipment, so fuck you, live with it)

The NBN is all about replacing the aging copper network with a newer, more modern and easier and cheaper to maintain (going forward even though it's a lot of money and work to install) network that will service the country for a long time.

The problem with the politicians are they are generally useless, I can't even think of one who is really worth the money and I would be happy if they all just vanished. They are just attention whores and don't think they are doing their job if they agree with each other, let alone look at the big picture over a greater time period than the next election. Corporate executives are just as bad only they resort to back room dirty deals so they "Maximize Shareholder Value" making the rich people richer and themselves BILLIONS in bonuses.

The NBN's FTTP plan is what is needed to maximize the value to the community as a whole, fuck what Canberra and Telstra want, they don't own Australia, Australians do.

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Microsoft plugs Xbox One consoles into its cloud - what could go wrong?

Robert Heffernan
FAIL

Worst. Idea. Ever.

I have never bought into the whole cloud computing idea. It is just a whole load of fail waiting to happen, from cloud providers going bust to the NSA cherry-picking your data to being held hostage to vendor lock-in. Now by having chunks of your games being served up from some data center in the USA your going to get slapped with latency issues (sure, 20ms in America might be fine for yank gamers but 200ms for aussie or brit gamers is just the suck) And then how long will your game last? Publishers in the game space go bust all the time and with no one to pay the cloud bill gamers will be left to pick up the tab paying to play games they already own, then eventually they will all stop working a generation or two of console later when its no longer commercially viable to provide the cloudy side of the game any longer.

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New Development. Where do we go?

Robert Heffernan

Solid Servers

While Microsoft seems to be taking a real hammering on the client side of the ecosystem, I think the server side is actually pretty solid. While the stupid Metro start menu made it's way into the Server 2012 UI, the server manager is really nice. IIS is solid and the .NET 4.5 framework is awesome with the enhancements made for parallelism and other such things.

Using SQL Server, IIS and .NET you can build a solid foundation as a back-end for just about any front end you like from .NET WinForms/WPF to HTML5 to iOS and Android apps.

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Facebook sharpens ad-shifting tool: Soon users will eat creepily SPECIFIC ad-gloop

Robert Heffernan
WTF?

Targeted ads missing the point

The really odd thing I found is I recently bought some domain names from company 'X'. Before I bought them I was getting served up random un-targeted shit ads, Now I am getting spammed left and right on every site I visit wooing me to buy domain names from company 'X'. It's a bit late guys. I don't need any more domain names!

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Boffins have constructed a new LIGHT SABRE. Their skills are complete

Robert Heffernan
Headmaster

Lite Saber?

Just going out on a limb here guys....

What if the "Light" in Light Sabre really meant it's a Weight-Reduced version of a previous "Sabre" hand held weapon iteration?

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Our LOHAN rocket ship team exits Spain with a bang

Robert Heffernan
Flame

Re: What was cooking on the barbeque...?

Don't mind that, it was merely a North Korean spy who was caught trying to steal details of LOHAN and the rocket engine powering it. They are pretty desperate to steal the plans of a rocket that actually works.

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Boffins: Earth will be habitable for only 1.75 BEEELLION more years

Robert Heffernan
Unhappy

Baby Factory

"Actually we'd probably be OK sending a team of a few dozen females and a few thousand fertilized eggs"

I can't imagine ANY woman would volunteer for that!

"'ere luv, would you mind a one way trip to another planet where you'll be required to be constantly pregnant with 20 or so children back to back, then you got all the trouble of raising the little nippers"

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Telstra to DNS-block botnet C&Cs with unknown blacklist

Robert Heffernan
FAIL

This might be pretty effec... oh.

This might be effective for about 30 seconds. Media releases like this just let the malware writers know what happened when a big chunk of their botnet goes quiet.

In this case they will just modify their code to query a different DNS server and bam, back on line.

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Chap unrolls 'USB condom' to protect against viruses

Robert Heffernan

Simple!

Simple fix, Slit the plastic cover on the USB cable, expose the 4 wires inside.

Cut the two wires that arent Red and Black.

Put tape over the slit

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Intel shows off 'disaggregated' rack of servers, storage, and networking

Robert Heffernan
Trollface

Re: I get it now

Easy! Does the business use Intel Inside? No? Then its not safe.

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Snowden journo's partner wins partial injunction on seized data

Robert Heffernan
Facepalm

Amature Hour or What!

Any half brain-dead idiot would know ANY Snowden data is political plutonium and having it on your person will cause some serious damage from governments trying to recover it.

I personally would have rolled the data into a VDH or something encrypted with a drive encryption package, packed into a passworded encrypted rar file that has been encrypted with PGP, uploaded to a private sftp server via the TOR network.

My personal media would have then been either physically destroyed or scrubbed with a military grade drive cleaning tool, twice then reinstalled and filled with porn and torrent downloads.

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Bad timing: New HTML5 trickery lets hackers silently spy on browsers

Robert Heffernan
Headmaster

Re: Letters?

Letters do take differing amounts of time to render in that the source of the pixel data is vector based and the time taken to process the math to rasterise the letter is unique.

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Upstart's 'FLASH KILLER' chips pack a terabyte per tiny layer

Robert Heffernan
Headmaster

Yes, it's usually calculated by over-stressing the sample parts beyond recommended spec and then using some *creative* math to extrapolate the failure time based on the accelerated failure of the over-stressed component.

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Surprise! Intel smartphone trounces ARM in power trials

Robert Heffernan
Boffin

Easy To Measure

If you are doing this kind of testing on consumer electronics, soldering flying leads to the battery terminals is no big deal. Wire the battery in instead of insert it into the compartment and splice your current measuring devices into the cable. Easy.

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Better Place electric car outfit goes titsup

Robert Heffernan
FAIL

Chicken, Meet Egg.

See Title ^

It is one of those cases where it's a good idea on paper, but in reality won't work unless there is 100% of the infrastructure in place and ready for the public, plus a mandated requirement by governments for car manufacturers to conform to the specification required for the battery swapping tech, and we all know how well that will go down. Each manufacturer will want their own spec, hell, you can't even swap the batteries on a leccy car as it is!

Not to mention, In Australia, the idea is practically useless outside a major metropolitan area, apart from the self-charge fallback which makes the idea no better than a built-in battery.

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More than half of Windows 8 users just treat it like Windows 7

Robert Heffernan
WTF?

???

Try playing a DVD without installing a 3rd party app.

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Tea, Earl Grey, hot! NASA blows $125k on Star Trek 3D FOOD PRINTER

Robert Heffernan
Headmaster

Primitive Food Replicator

It sounds to me like a very primitive form of a "Star Trek" style food replicator. Walk up to the machine, tell it what you want and within a short time you have your freshly assembled meal ready to go.

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Samsung sends gigabit '5G' signal TWO WHOLE KILOMETRES

Robert Heffernan
Headmaster

Heating the air

If at such high frequencies you loose power into heating the air, it makes me wonder how effective these frequencies will be for applications like high bandwidth communications between orbiting satellites and the moon or satellites in orbit around mars?

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NASA on alert: International Space Station springs a leak

Robert Heffernan
Thumb Up

Easy Fix!!!

Duct Tape. Nuff said!

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